Sugar Hill

Located in Manhattan, New York City, the historic Sugar Hill district is lined with charming residential properties and other landmarks that are connected to the Harlem Renaissance.

History and Facts

Sugar Hill
Sugar Hill occupies a significant portion of the Harlem neighbourhood on the northern tip of Manhattan. In the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, Harlem was home to thriving Jewish and Italian communities. As these ethnic groups moved out to other parts of New York City or the surrounding suburbs, African-Americans moved in. During the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance was characterized by a cultural boom that simply couldn't occur in the southern part of the United States. Lined with charming rowhouses and other quaint properties, Sugar Hill attracted some of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance. The great writer W. E. B. Du Bois and Jazz musician Duke Ellington enjoyed a comfortable life in this district that was rapidly changing in demographics and culture. However, the Great Depression brought an abrupt end to the exciting and upbeat atmosphere of Harlem. For decades after this economic crisis, the neighbourhood has fallen into disrepair and experienced other major urban problems. Nevertheless, Sugar Hill has been preserved and even revived to its former glory. The Benziger House and Bailey House are among the dozens of stunning buildings that line the streets of the neighbourhood. A walking tour is highly recommended for anyone who's interested in the history of this district. In fact, more than 400 buildings have been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some notable architectural styles in the neighbourhood include Queen Anne, neoclassical and revival versions of Romanesque and Gothic.

Parks and Green Spaces

Jackie Robinson Park is the largest green space in Sugar Hill. Bounded by Edgecombe Avenue and Bradhurst Avenue, this historic park has traditionally defined the eastern boundary of the neighbourhood. Nested in between apartment buildings, the length of this urban oasis spans approximately 10 blocks. Since opening in early 1900s, Jackie Robinson Park has provided great recreational opportunities for generations of families. At the recreational complex near the swimming pool, you can see a bronze bust of Jackie Robinson, who greatly impacted racial equality in professional baseball. Wedged in between St. Nicholas Avenue and Convent Avenue, the Convent Garden is a small green area that beautifies the streets of Sugar Hill. A gazebo and some benches at this lush garden provide a retreat from the surrounding hustle and bustle of Harlem. Officially owned by New York City, the neighbouring William A. Harris Garden is a prime example of successful urban agriculture. Some other notable parks that are located right on the border of Sugar Hill include Johnny Hartman Square, Coogan's Bluff and St. Nicholas Park.

Visiting Sugar Hill District

The New York City subway offers direct access to various parts of Sugar Hill. Served by multiple lines, the 145th Street station has several entrances and exits that are located a few blocks apart. Trains that head southbound to Manhattan along the 1 line stop at the tracks below Broadway. The A, B, C and D trains stop at the tracks that are located under St. Nicholas Avenue. These trains also serve the 155th Street station that roughly marks the northern boundary of Sugar Hill. Entrances and exits are located along St. Nicholas Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Served by the 3 line, the 148th Street Lenox Station also provides access to this historic neighbourhood. Dozens of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus stops are scattered throughout the district and the surrounding area. Finding a parking space in Sugar Hill shouldn't be a major hassle during the day. You'll most likely need to squeeze into a parallel parking spot along the streets and avenues that have plenty of residential and commercial properties. Unlike Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan, this part of Harlem doesn't have any parking garages.

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